LibriVox recording of The Woman Who Did, by Grant Allen.
Read by Ruth Golding.
Most times, especially in the time when this book was written (1895), it is just as nature and society would wish: a man and woman "fall in love" and get married. But it is not so for Herminia Barton and Alan Merrick. They do indeed fall in love, but Herminia has a deeply held belief in freedom for women, and she holds immutable views against what she perceives as the slavery of marriage.
Alan unwillingly agrees to her strong wish to remain unmarried and to live together as "close and dear friends". When the birth of their child is imminent, they go to his beloved Italy to avoid the condemnation of English society.
From this point on, many questions are raised: is marriage indeed so important? Is strong will always good? Is it right to go against society? And if it is, when should we stop and consider the effects on other people? What should a child do when she is raised to be what her mother dreams and develops her own dreams in the process? And, finally, how much should parents sacrifice for their children? (Summary by Stav Nisser and Ruth Golding)
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October 16, 2009 Subject:
Another splendid reading by Ruth Golding
This is a tale of rebellion and its aftermath. It follows Herminia Barton, a young woman from a respectable background who decides to set her own course in life. She and her lover move in together and have a child in defiance of social convention prevailing at the time (1895). The consequences of her actions will prove more difficult than Herminia could have imagined. Many thanks to Ruth Golding for her wonderful reading of Grant’s novel. Highly recommended!